Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2nd Code Club lesson - experience and thoughts


After the first week where only 4 kids turned up this week was a different experience with 11 kids.  Of which 5 were boys and the rest were girls.  So, a nice mix.
The folders I gave the kids the last time were a big hit.  2 of the girls had decorated their folders and some of the new kids had been told about by others what happened the last time and were looking for their folders. 12p folders from the pound shop make you a hero.

The second lesson is the Whack a Witch class where the kids make a similar game to Whack a Mole but with witches. This class can be be downloaded from the www.codeclub.org.uk website. The final words 'look like this' are the link.

Wit most of the kids having missed the first session I had to go through some of the fundamentals with them but didn't want to lose the excitement and moment of actually doing so I gathered them around one computer and showed them the stage, sprites, and the other bits at a really high level, knowing this wouldn't be enough for them to work on their own but hopefully would give them some comfort with the interface.

What followed was a manic hour of excited kids and a whole lot of one-on-one guidance.
But this time by the end all kids had the game completed.  Some with more support than others, but they all had their game to play and enjoy.  One of the girls who was there last week got it done in about 20 minutes and even started helping others. I think I have found my future helper.  Nothing proves you have learned something than being able to show others. I made a point of telling her mother when she was being collected how great she was and how helpful she was with the others just starting.

I provided a letter for kids that I found here (http://andrewjohns.net/blog/2012/12/a-letter-to-parents-regarding-scratch/) to take home for their parents if they wished to explain to their parents what they are doing and also ask to have Scratch installed on their home computers.

Once again the time felt way too short. It's either me or the sessions should be 90 minutes so I've asked the teacher coordinating if we can run the sessions from 3:20 - 5:00.  Giving 10 minutes at the start and then 90 minutes of mad activity.

When the kids had gone and we were back in the class tidying up a great thing happened. Another teacher came in and said while she was in her class she heard 2 boys outside saying how great the club was. Really enthusiastic and excitedly.  So, even though the class was a bit rushed and the learnings were limited due to the speed the No.1 objective I hope for was achieved. The kids were excited and eager to do more.  The learning and understand will come once they master the interface and repeat some of the steps.

So, another successful(ish) Code Club. Roll on next week and the fireworks.